Rene Naylor and her physiotherapy team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus's squad was in peak condition throughout the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Naylor graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and started her rugby career with Silvertree Rugby Club who were based in Mitchells Plain at the time.
"I was always interested in rugby, our family watches rugby and my granny was a big Naas Botha fan," said Naylor.
"I was super excited to start my first rugby job at Silvertree, this is where I learned most of my skills."
She worked out of a small container on the field where they didn’t have lights at night, so they would use a car and a generator.
One of her clients invited her to help out at the club and before she knew it, she started her stint with Western Province and later with the Springboks.
The Springboks were crowned world champions after their 32-12 win over England in the final in Yokohama.
"This was the highlight of my career, winning the world cup. This is my third world cup with the Springboks and it has to be third time lucky," said Naylor.
"It was a lot of hard work going into it, it was something that we worked on for 614 days. It was the plan since 2018 with Rassie and the coaches."
Naylor says that this was a special victory because it didn’t just feel like a victory of a tournament or rugby match, it felt like a victory for all South Africans.
She continues to mention that she never expected to get a job with the Springboks but in 2008, she got a call from Peter de Villiers who asked me if I was interested in the job and the rest is history.